Southern Summer… Making Homemade Ice Cream

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Southern Summer Mornings

The summer season is here!!! The Dog Days of Summer are quickly approaching and this Southern Summer has already been hot! What summer cold treats do you offer to family and friends to cool down?? Homemade ice cream is definitely a Southern favorite.

The only thing that could make this hot summer day better is ice cream! 🍨🍨🍨🍨

Nothing seems to excite my family more than the treat of homemade ice cream. Homemade Ice cream just simply tastes like a southern summer at its best. Last year, I posted my favorite vanilla homemade ice cream on Pinterest and it has definitely been a hit!

As the July 4th holiday approaches, I thought it would be a great time to share this very simple recipe with y’all today. This recipe works well with my current ice cream maker. You can add fresh summer fruit into the mix or simply sprinkle across the top as a beautiful garnish.

Fresh peaches or strawberries are amazing with Homemade vanilla ice cream
Gather your ingredients…
I use whole milk
1 cup will give you a very sweet cream mix
Mix together all ingredients and make sure sugar is fully incorporated into milk/cream mixture. Pour into 2 quart ice cream maker.
I have one that is similar to the ice cream maker on the left. These are currently available for purchase at WCH!
Life is like ice cream, you need to enjoy it before it melts 🍨

Pulling Weeds

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As your garden grows, so do the weeds😳! Weeds, the unwanted earthy material we desire to rid our flower & vegetable gardens of forever. Weeds can somehow creep into your garden and appear almost overnight. Weeds steal valuable water & nutrients from your growing garden. Before you know it, your once gorgeous garden is chocked full of weeds and struggling to survive. So, as a gardener, an ongoing task is weeding.

Some people say, that pulling weeds is a laborious task, while others seem to get lost in the joy of nature. Regardless, of your mindset, it is a maintenance task that must be routinely addressed as a homeowner in order to keep an approachable, well maintained landscape.

On the blog today , I have researched and found my Top Weeding Tips to share with y’all. These are not fool proof, but it could help you with your summer garden maintenance routine.

Top Ten Weeding Tips:

1. Timing is Everything … Pulling weeds is a much easier task after a good soaking rain. Those of us who live in red clay soil zones, can definitely attest to the ease of pulling after a rain versus the dry, hard clay soil. Smaller weeds are much easier to yank than larger ones. So don’t ignore the task of weeding. Pulling weeds in morning or later evening are definitely easier during those long, hot summer days.

After a rain is a perfect time to walk in garden to see the beauty of your labor & be active in weeding out those pesky little weeds.

2. Tools… the right tools for the job are important! I usually carry a small bucket for weeding to dispose of those pesky things. A weeding tool, gardening spade, gloves, and gardening hoe are essential for getting the job done, get the root out!

Great tools make quick work of weed control!

3. Think about your mulch layer… If you mulch heavy( 3-4 inches deep) it should help somewhat with weed control. Simply putting down an inch or two of mulch around perennials, annuals and shrubs is simply not going to cut it. A shallow layer of mulch won’t keep weed seeds buried in the soil below from germinating. The key to weed control is to smother them out! Weed seeds need light, water, & air in order to thrive and grow. Make conditions harsh for weeds to prosper. Also, don’t forget to think about the birds who float in weed seeds that can get into the soil below to sprout and grow. Mulch in flowerbeds should be at a minimum of depth of 4 inches.

4. Tilling… the least amount of soil that is disturbed, the better chance you have to keep weed seeds from being distributed . Weed seeds are buried in every inch of your beautiful garden, but only those in the top inch or two of soil get enough light to trigger germination. Digging and cultivating brings hidden weed seeds to the surface. So don’t dig or till unless absolutely necessary!

5. Think about planting more… the unused garden space in your garden invites the opportunity for more weeds to grow. It maybe time to grow more veggies or flowers!

On sale now!!! All remaining flower & vegetable seeds

6. Turn the pages of your Almanac!!! Pulling weeds during a barren sign(Leo, Gemini, Virgo, Aquarius) is impactful!

I usually consult my Almanac before I go pull weeds. It is a fruitless task to weed control on a day that is unsuited for it. I never weed on good planting days.

7. Take a daily walk through your garden, & pull a few weeks everyday. Pick a section to focus on each day and just work in it.

8. Technology time… plant apps are readily available to help you identify plant material. Weeds can be identified and help you determine how to get rid of it. How does this weed spread… seed, runners, or rhizomes/root based ???

Consider using a plant identification app.

9. Talent… use your talent as an amazing gardener by never leaving the roots behind. If you pull only the leaves, weeds will grow back. Grab the weed close to the ground and pull straight up. Remove the entire root for a successful weeding session. For those really hard ones to kill, we have some amazing chemicals to try, if you need them. Our customers have requested chemicals that are people/pet friendly that work! We have them!!! Come stop by and talk to us about options available.

Amazing products inside WCH!!!

10. Tenacity will pay off… there will always be weeds in the garden, hopefully less than more… if you use a few of these tips to help reduce your weeding chores. Don’t give up on your garden. The joy it brings is definitely worth it and persistence is key in weeding the garden.

June Gardening Guide

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Gardening became a lovely little side hobby of mine when we purchased our first home years ago. I loved learning about all the different types of trees and flowers in my yard. The gardening gene runs deep in my family. From my youngest memories, my family always had a garden full of veggies and beautiful flowers dotted the yard.

Snowball Hydrangeas were a staple in our yard growing up.

June is normally a month when your flowers and vegetables begin to show off in full beauty. The hard work of May and the other spring months pays off but it is not a time to relax just yet!!!

For a beautiful garden, June is a month when watering, weeding/hoeing, and monitoring for insects & disease can reap rewards. If these go unchecked during the summer months, it can definitely lead to disaster!!!

I love, love 💕 this water hose for watering plants!!! It is lightweight and easy to move around in the yard to water flowers during those drought filled days.

Wilkes County Hardware has the tools in order to help you be a successful gardener this summer. Don’t forget to stop by and consult with our staff if you have questions, concerns, or if you need gardening supplies. We will be there to assist you.

Black Wonder soil builder has been a garden favorite of our gardening customers!!! What a great way to supplement your soil and add much needed nutrients!!! You will definitely see the difference!!!

According to 2022 Blum’s Almanac, June is a great time to continue to plant tomatoes 🍅, eggplant, peppers 🌶, cabbage, beans, and celery. Sowing seeds for later transplanting…collards, cabbage, & cauliflower. Plant blackeye, crowder, and lady peas, squash, cucumber, and pumpkins 🎃.

Only a few of these are left! Gardening calendars still available.

In your flower garden, plant all types of lovely cut flowers like zinnias, marigolds, dahlias, calendula, nasturtium, phlox for later fall flowers. Remember to monitor your gardens carefully for insects 🕷, pests, or disease.

Deer 🦌 are always in my yard. I use the deer spray pictured here to keep activity at bay. It works well for me! Spray your plants routinely for 3 weeks to get the scent firmly established on the plants. Reapply if you have a heavy rain. After the 3 weeks, you should be able to apply once a month depending on the rain.
Plants looking stressed??? Use this concentrated spray to give your plants a boost! Good for struggling house plants too!!!

The “Best” days to plant 🪴 for June … 1-2, 8-11, 18-19, 23-24, 28-29.

We still have seeds left for planting!!!

The “Best” Weed killing days are June 16-17, 25-27. But these 3 barren signs (Leo, Gemini, Virgo) is usually a good time to spray weeds.

Wilkes County Hardware has several options available for your weed control needs.

Tuesday June 14 will bring the Strawberry 🍓 Moon!!! This moon is named after the wild strawberries that ripen in the month of June.

I love fresh strawberries!!! This dishpan makes it easy work. Yes, these dishpans are available at Wilkes County Hardware 😎

Also, Don’t forget to fly your American flag 🇺🇸 on June 14th for Flag Day!!

Need a new flag??? Don’t worry, you can drop off your old flag at Wilkes County Hardware too!

Happy Gardening Y’all!!! 👩🏻‍🌾👩🏻‍🌾

New ladies gardening t-shirt !! This one is selling fast!!!

Earth Day

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Earth Day is here today on Friday April 22. The first Earth Day was celebrated back in 1970. Over 1 billion people, globally will recognize Earth Day!!!

A few days ago, I read about a photo sharing challenge related to Earth Day. As I read about it, I quickly realized that I had several photos on my camera roll that would fit each category for each day to post. My camera roll has lots of nature inspired pictures. My daily postings are available on my IG page and I would love some love on my photos if you are there on IG. I hope y’all enjoy the nature inspired photos and remember to be good to our Earth. 🌳

By the way, if y’all are interested in Earth Friendly products, please ask us what we have available. We are slowly expanding our earth friendly product line in lawn & garden & elsewhere inside the store. Well that could be a separate blog post y’all, so I’ll leave that there for now. Look for that in the future!!!

Here are the Earth Day photos that I submitted as my favorites in each category for the Earth Day photo contest… enjoy and head outside to snap a few pics of your own!!!

Sky
Water
Green
Garden
Animal
Flower
Trees

“The Earth has music for those who listen”

Splashing into Summer

Memorial Day is fast approaching, for many people, this holiday weekend is the unofficial beginning of summer. It is also for us, one of the busiest times of the year.

Pool season has already been underway for us… lots of prep before the pools can open safely. Many people may not be aware, but we do the day to maintenance on two local pools.

Before a pool opens, lots of hours go into the process as many pool owners know

The extra effort, hours, and labor usually comes after we close our doors each day or before we open in early morning, so that these pools can be accessible to guests when they need them. Days are often long during pool season.

Richard was very thankful to have Gerald’s experience & expertise in the pool business when we purchased the hardware store 6 summers ago. Gerald was very gracious and stayed with Richard that first summer to help him through that first big pool season. We are extremely thankful for Gerald and all of his knowledge, & kindness that he continues to share with us each visit in our hometown hardware store.

At Wilkes County Hardware, we have a “wall of fame” of the previous owners. I love this picture of Gerald.

Local Pool owners are returning to Wilkes County Hardware in order to begin the process of opening up their pools, gathering pool chemicals, & having pool water tested…(The trail of unusual water bottles samples has started… from jelly jars to empty water bottles. Each water bottle sample is unique to each pool customer.) Some folks are doing great with pool maintenance and are just stocking up on pool supplies.

Pool water samples come in all shapes and sizes…

One significant change this year is the absence of chlorine tablets due to ongoing shortages. We have “plunged right into the waters” answering phone calls, & taking questions regarding chlorine tablets.

At this point, we are currently out of stock in chlorine tablets. We have plenty of granular chlorine available for purchase in 25 pound tubs and 100 pounds. We are hopeful that the shortage will not continue.

One notable conversation point that has been noticed, is that some customers are unsure about how to use granular chlorine.

Granular chlorine works in a very similar manner as one would shock the pool water & usage of granular is the same as “shocking” the pool.

In order to use granular chlorine effectively, take a clean 5 gallon bucket add some pool water then add granular chlorine. You never want to add water after the granular chlorine, it could create a volatile reaction!!!! Always begin with water. Stir mixture … 15-30 seconds … with a suitable “stick” (wooden paddle, handle, pvc pipe). Pour about half mixture into pool and add in more pool water into bucket and stir again. Pour remaining granular chlorine solution into pool.

Always use a bucket to stir up chlorine… often times he will use a bucket to stir up other types of pool chemicals as well to ensure even distribution into pool as to not have it sink to bottom.., as this photo demonstrates

As always, we are available to answer any questions you may have in regards to your pool. Richard spends on average 10-15 minutes with each pool water test he completes, answering & doing a quick analysis for each customer… at no charge to the customer.

Each pool water analysis is free, the information is often invaluable to a pool owner!!!

We hope that each customer will leave empowered with knowledge of how to “dive” into pool water chemistry and have fun splashing safely all summer long.

Happy splashing this summer y’all 😎